Going the Extra Mile, with Penny Barker

London

Monday 23rd January 2017

6:30pm - 8:00pm

Run and Become, 4a Eccleston Street, London, SW1W 9LN

FREE OF CHARGE

Going the Extra Mile: Living beyond the Comfort Zone

An Inspirational Talk by Penny Barker, who is on a mission to become the fastest British woman to complete the Race Across America. Coast-to-coast across the USA, it is considered by many to be the world’s toughest cycle race. At 3080 miles, it crosses 2 deserts, 3 mountain ranges and the tornado-wracked plains of Kansas. If that wasn’t enough she has just 12 days to do it in…

What is this inspirational talk about?

Daring to dream big and making it real.

Why should you come?

  • To be inspired to turn your own dream into a goal – set a date and go for it
  • To learn more about the power of self awareness and harnessing your beliefs to help you to achieve your goals
  • To understand how to go beyond your comfort zone successfully

Why is it relevant to you?

  • If you are considering taking on an ultra challenge, I’ll address the practical aspects of maximizing your chances of success
  • If you have a dream but are unsure of how or if to make it a reality, I’ll look at how to set big goals and unlock your potential to achieve them
  • I’m an ultra athlete with a day job; we’ll focus on how to achieve your dreams around the challenge of real life

What will I be talking about?

  • From Ironman triathlete to ultra racer; my journey to the start line of the toughest bicycle race in the world, Race Across America in June 2017
  • Preparing mentally and physically for The Race Across the West this June; 928 miles in 90 hours across deserts, through Monument Valley and over 2 mountain ranges
  • Going beyond your comfort zone; how and why we should do it
  • Setting goals and strategies for achieving them

More about Penny Barker

Setting the scene

It’s 1am on Friday morning. I’m asleep in a motel in Flagstaff, Arizona. There’s a knock on the door. “Time to get back on the bike Pen”. It’s been an hour since I put my head on the pillow.

The lights go on, a fresh set of cycling kit is laid on the bed. Wordlessly I start getting dressed. I’m tired... so very tired. Since noon on Tuesday, I’ve cycled 600 miles and slept for 4.5 hours. I still have 328 miles to the finish of the Race Across the West to ride. My body aches, my feet are swollen, my mouth is burnt from the desert air and I’m weak from not absorbing any of my nutrition for the last 3 days. The motel is quiet around us. Outside, it’s 0 degrees, a stark contrast from the 44 degrees in the desert for the last few days. I sit on the edge of the bed, pulling on all my winter cycling kit and contemplating the task ahead. In order to make the cut-off time, I will have to cycle the last 328 miles without resting again.

People asked afterwards if I ever thought about quitting and the answer is yes, right then, right there in that room. Exhausted, I asked myself the question “how bad do you want this?”. Deep within, I found my answer. I put on my helmet, got back on my bike and got the job done.

I’m a wife, daughter, vet…. and an ultracyclist. Three years ago I embarked on a mission to become the fastest British woman to complete the Race Across America. Coast-to-coast across the USA, it is considered by many to be the world’s toughest cycle race. At 3080 miles, it crosses 2 deserts, 3 mountain ranges and the tornado-wracked plains of Kansas. If that wasn’t enough you have just 12 days to do it in…

In June 2017, I’ll be on the RAAM start line in Oceanside, California having qualified this year through the Race Across the West; 928 miles in 90 hours. Stunning scenery and lots of laughter with my fantastic crew were interspersed with GI issues that sapped my strength (and my average speed), bike failure, and altitude sickness. Despite all this, I can’t wait to do it all again next year... and then ride for another 2000miles!

As well as a vet, I am also a personal performance coach, working with people to define their goals, tackle their limiting beliefs and unlock their potential to achieve anything they truly want in life. My aim for the evening is not just to inspire people to make their own dreams a reality but to also give them some tools for doing it. Using my journey to RAW and RAAM as examples, we’ll talk about goal setting, motivation and the power of self awareness. We will discuss both the physical and mental preparation for events like this and my “8 Ps” for successful performance. We’ll talk about the highs and lows along the way and the pure comedy moments that can only come from adversity and sleep deprivation.

My job as a coach is to help people to push themselves beyond their comfort zone, supporting them as they stretch to achieve goals they might not have thought were possible. The right amount of stress creates an adaptive response, helping us to actually expand our comfort zone and create a “new normal”. Challenging ourselves with events such as RAW has implications far beyond the physical achievement; they take you on a journey of self-discovery that can have positive implications in your career, family and day-to-day life. They develop self-confidence and –motivation, build your mental resilience and give you a more rounded approach to life. During what I hope will be an interactive talk, I’d like to share these benefits and encourage others to experience them.

My background is running and triathlon and although the talk is based on cycling, it’s applicable both to athletes of any level but also anyone who is motivated to change anything in their life. I’d like people to come away with a little more knowledge about ultra-cycling but most importantly with some food for thought about themselves and the confidence to step beyond their comfort zone and make that dream happen.

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